The description of emigration as a “lifestyle choice” by Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has brought heavy criticism in Ireland and within Irish communities abroad.
Mr Noonan said emigration wasn’t being driven by unemployment but “by a desire to see another part of the world and live there.”
His comments arrived days after Taoiseach Enda Kenny told The Irish Post that emigration was inevitable in the current economic climate. Estimates suggest that 300,000 people will leave Ireland in the next four years.
It is not uncommon for Irish politicians to court controversy when it comes to emigration. In the 1980s, Brian Lenihan senior famously observed “we can’t all live on a small island.”
But what The Irish Post wants to know is how many people now living here in Britain left for reasons of lifestyle or was it simply because they felt they had no other choice?
Are you happy to be living in Britain and why? And how many of you intend to return to Ireland? The dynamics of emigration to Britain have changed with the advent of free air travel and improved communications. Against this backdrop, we want to know how you feel about emigration and life in Britain.
With your help we will try and paint a more modern picture of emigration. Please email or write to us with our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Email: robert.mulhern@http://http://irishpost.co.uk
PLUS… Don’t miss next week’s Irish Post (out Wednesday, February 1) when our columnists debate the issue of emigration as a lifestyle choice versus a necessity.